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posted: 3/6/2012 6:00 PM

Dist. 203 delays boundary vote again

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If Naperville Unit District 203 officials and parents agree on one thing, it's that Mill Street and Beebe elementary schools are overcrowded and need relief.

But by how much and when?

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School board members on Monday night again delayed a vote on proposed boundary changes for two more weeks as they attempt to figure out the best moves for the district and whether those moves include starting the mapping process all over again.

Outraged Mill Street parents argue that as many as 164 to 184 students need to be moved out, not just the 134 proposed in the latest map.

According to Chief Financial Officer Dave Zager, the district's five-year enrollment projections have Mill Street, which has a capacity of 750, going down to about 700 students next year and peaking in 2014 at about 746.

The current boundary proposal was put forth by the district's enrollment and capacity committee, which worked since October toward presenting a viable plan to the school board that addressed enrollment disparities within the district's 22 schools.

The committee was directed to develop a plan that would support neighborhood schools, maximize facility use, limit transportation changes and affect the fewest of about 17,420 students as possible.

The proposed boundary map would move 1,204 students -- 819 in elementary school, 124 in junior high and 261 in high school -- throughout the district.

Board member Suzyn Price, also one of the two board members on the enrollment committee, acknowledged she's not usually one to suggest drastic change, suggested the district may need to start the process over

"We really need to look at the map again and make those changes for the long term so that we do balance out our schools, so that we even out capacity," she said.

Board members will continue deliberations regarding new boundaries on March 19.

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